A young wife and mother of three, Kathy Vogel Kuettner was diagnosed in the spring of 1999 with Burkitt's lymphoma, a rare for of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. She underwent multiple rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant from her oldest sister, Susan. She was out of the hospital less than a month when the cancer returned. After fighting a year-long battle against this tenacious and rare form of cancer, Kathy passed away on July 4th, 2000, at thirty-nine years old.
Kathy was a person of kindness, generosity and true compassion. She had a wide and deep network of support during her illness, and often her hospital room was full of visitors. During her time in the hospital, she learned that many patients had few visitors to help support their journey. Her nurses also lamented the lack of a Milwaukee area hospital hospitality housing to lodge and support those families, because while there is the Ronald McDonald House, it only serves children. Before her death, she expressed a wish to her family that they open a hospital hospitality house to serve patients of all ages.
Immediately after Kathy's death, her parents, Judy and Dick Vogel, began working on Kathy's House. Through fund-raisers, donations and a year of hard work, her family and friends worked tirelessly to open this house to accommodate those seeking medical treatment and support in the Southeastern Wisconsin Area.
Kathy's House, Inc., was certified as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and opened its doors to patients and their caregivers on July 1, 2001 in Milwaukee and has been fulfilling Kathy's wish ever since.